New Look Cafe is Here...
WHO ARE WE?
In 1966 two significant things happened; England won the World Cup and Peter Bennett bought some land on leafy Clough lane in Hightown, Liversedge. The significance of these two events is that whilst England’s win gave a great moral boost to the whole Nation, Peter’s purchase was the foundation stone of “Bennetts” as it is today. Thanks to his enterprise the Bennett family have faired somewhat better on their green patch than England have managed on theirs!
Peter Bennett started life delivering milk and other produce in the local Spen Valley area. His reputation for hard work, honesty, reliability and good produce at fair prices ensured that the business was a success. When the opportunity to buy land arose he did not hesitate.
So welcome to “Bennetts” at Croft Farm...
Here at BENNETTS we owe a lot to our feathery friend, the humble chicken! Had it not been for Peter’s brother Tony Bennett buying him some chicks as a boy Bennetts eggs would not have been founded…
Before Peter bought the land, it had been used for allotments. He started by building his first chicken shed.
Over the years as the business thrived there has been many changes. More chicken sheds were added, and Peter also become a pig breeder.
By now Peter was married to Amanda with two boys Oliver and William. The Bennett team was complete.
It is very much a family affair at Bennetts, Amanda is a real “foodie” and loves cooking. It was Amanda’s idea in 2013 to take the business in another direction and open a purpose built coffee shop “The Garden Coffee Lounge” This was such a success that planning soon began for a bigger and better one to include a bistro, coffee house, shop and ice cream parlour. Six years later the dream became a reality. “BENNETTS” WAS BORN.
The egg business is still an important part of the enterprise, but this is left mainly to Graham and Jimmy, two long serving trusted employees.
William doesn’t like to be cooped up indoors. He is much happier operating a tractor than an expresso machine, so his role is to keep the farm running, tend the animals and general maintenance and repairs. He always plays a huge part in the practical side of any development work.
Regretfully due to illness Peter can no longer play an active role in the business but he still enjoys a cup of coffee and a delicious cake in the café perhaps keeping an eye on things to ensure his customers are satisfied as he always has done.
He need not worry. Amanda, Oliver and an ever- attentive, friendly staff ensures a warm welcome to all ages.
We have a wealth of local history on our doorstep.
Liversedge is one of the villages and towns which makes up the Spen Valley, an oasis in the centre of the large Conurbation of Leeds, Bradford, Halifax, Huddersfield and Wakefield. It’s a patchwork of settlements and green open spaces crammed full of history and literary heritage.
- The A649 (Halifax Road) which runs through Liversedge was once a major Roman Road, the ‘Via Magna’ along which legions of Roman soldiers marched from York to Chester.
- The tall three-storey 18th century building on Halifax Road facing Clough Lane was the home of the Bronte family. Patrick Bronte, the vicar at nearby Hartshead Church brought his bride, Maria Branwell here in 1812 and their eldest two daughters, Maria and Elizabeth were born here (in 1814 and 1815)
- St. Peter’s Church at Hartshead is well worth a visit and if the church itself is closed have a look at the churchyard with the skeletal remains of a Yew tree said to have been planted over 1,000 years ago at the consecration of the Saxon Church. Legend has it that Robin Hood used wood from this tree to shape arrows for his famous bow whilst staying with his cousin, the Prioress of nearby Kirklees Priory.
- Events in local history produced an independent- minded breed of folk. For example the Quakers and later the Methodists found plenty of followers. The Friends Burial Ground on Hare Park Lane containing four 17th century graves belonging to the Greene family who were Quakers and punished for their faith, are testament to this. The Greenes lived at Upper House Farm just off Clough Lane. One of their family built the first Quaker Meeting House which is now a cottage on Quaker Lane (nearly opposite Clough Lane)
- At the far end of Clough Lane where it meets Windy Bank Lane, the fields stretching towards the Church crossroads are called the Chartist Fields after the largest ever outdoor political meeting when 250,000 people met on Peep Green Common, on Whit. Monday 1839, to take part in a demonstration demanding the vote for the working classes, men and women. (Their “Charter” was a list of demands)
- The Luddites were croppers thrown out of work by new machines. They met at the Shears Inn just a little further down Halifax Road to plan an ambush at the Church crossroads where they successfully destroyed machines being delivered to Cartwright’s Mill at Rawfolds down in the Spen Valley. This was later followed by a march across the fields crossing Clough Lane and down Primrose Lane to attack the Mill itself. This time the Luddites were unsuccessful and due to the fact that the whole area was billeted with soldiers, the ringleaders were captured and sentenced to death or transportation.
- The statue to the Luddites in Sparrow Park at the top of Knowler Hill is a homage them.
- Charlotte Bronte knew this area well as she went to school (and taught) at nearby Roe Head in Roberttown and spent holidays with her friends Mary Taylor in Gomersal at Red House and Ellen Nussey in Birstall. Her book “Shirley” tells the story of the Spen Valley Luddites. The book also describes much of the local scenery still relevant to what we can enjoy today.
There are numerous walks across the fields and lanes. Most of these walks will give you panoramic views over the Spen Valley towards Gomersal and Staincliffe or over the Calder Valley with Castle Hill and the Pennines in the distance.
There are dedicated walks like the Kirklees Way, several Bronte Trails and the two-part Luddite Trail produced by the Spen Valley Civic Society which together covers a walk of about 10 miles.
Bennetts is also not far from the Spen Valley Greenway and the memorial wood dedicated to the late MP Jo Cox.
But in the main, there is always a pleasant walk to be had, whatever the weather! And we find that our doggie friends enjoy the muddier pathways the best.
You can enjoy a gentle stroll or a more challenging walk before re-fuelling with some fabulous home-made food at the Bistro.